Gun Related News Stories
9th Circuit Court Rules There Is No Right To Sell Firearms - October 11, 2017
Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right to sell firearms to the public? No, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday in Teixeira v. County of Alameda, a landmark decision affirming the government's constitutional authority to strictly regulate gun shops. The 9 to 2 ruling is a victory for gun safety advocates who feared judicial aggrandizement of the right to bear arms could invalidate myriad laws governing firearm commerce. The decision may be imperiled, however, if the plaintiffs appeal to the Supreme Court, where conservative justices are increasingly eager to expand the scope of the Second Amendment.
Teixeira began as a challenge to a policy passed by Alameda County that imposed certain restrictions on gun sellers. Under the policy, all firearm retailers must obtain a permit, and none may operate near residential areas, schools, day care centers, other gun shops, or liquor stores. The three plaintiffs in the case wanted to open a gun shop but could not get a permit under county policy. They sued on behalf of themselves and their potential customers, alleging that the policy violated the Second Amendment in two ways; by preventing would-be customers from buying a gun, and by prohibiting them from selling firearms. A federal district court dismissed the claim, but a panel of judges for the 9th Circuit revived it by a 2 to 1 vote. The court then elected to rehear it en banc, ultimately deciding that the county policy passed constitutional muster.
DC Wont Take Concealed Carry Case To Supreme Court - October 5, 2017
After days of consulting with the mayor's office and city council members, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has reportedly decided not to fight a ruling that effectively strikes down the District's strict law that makes it difficult for gun owners to get concealed carry permits.
Sources told WTOP's broadcast news partner NBC Washington that Racine made the decision not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will formally make an announcement later on Thursday.
The law, which requires that people show 'good reason' to carry a concealed weapon before they can get a permit, suffered a setback in July when a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that it infringes on residents' Second Amendment rights.
D.C. officials later asked the Court of Appeals to rehear the case as a full court. However, in a brief order last week, the court said it would not reconsider the ruling, leaving the city's attorney general with no choice but to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court or back down.
Sheriff Warns Concealed Carry License Website Is a Scam - September 25, 2017
A sheriff in Pennsylvania warned residents last week a website offering online concealed carry permits is a scam.
Allegheny County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Friday the website www.concealcarryservices.com is fake and has no connection with state or local law enforcement agencies. The site claims to offer assistance in the concealed carry permit process for Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Louisiana.
"Users are directed to select a state and complete an online form, which prompts them to supply personal information almost identical to what would be provided on an application for a Pennsylvania license to carry firearms," Kraus told the newspaper, warning residents the site also requests credit card information and charges an application fee, as much as $37 in some cases.
The website offers no specific contact information, just a disclaimer that reads: "ConcealCarryServices.com is not owned by, nor affiliated with any county, federal, state or city government. The application assistance services we offer are supplementary and the fees are in addition to those required by the state. Our service can save you time and effort by making it very clear what you need to do to complete your application accurately, and by eliminating your need to wait on hold with government organizations if you have question"
Utah Legislature Advances Bill To Increase Gun Permit Fees - September 22, 2017
The Utah Legislature's Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee gave approval this week to a measure that would drive up renewal costs for concealed firearms permits and background checks.
Under the 25-page proposal, which adjusts a wide variety of public safety fees, the renewal fees for CFP permits would move from $15 to $24.75 for in-state residents, the same price as a new applicant. In addition, the $7.50 Brady fee assessed on firearms transfers would jump to $10.
State Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, said the increase has been three years in the making and current revenue is not sufficient to cover program costs.
"I would really like to get this bill passed so that we can recover the tax dollars that are currently subsidizing what should be covered by fees," Thatcher told the committee Wednesday.
Utah has seen a staggering increase in the numbers of CFPs in circulation in the past decade. Statistics by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification show in 2006 there were 13,139 applications, whereas in 2016 there were 95,093.
Sig Sauer Issues Recall Notice On Limited Number Of Rifles - September 19, 2017
Newington, NH (September 15th, 2017) - SIG SAUER, Inc. has determined that a limited number of rifles in the SIG716 DMR, SIG516 Carbon Fiber and SIGM400 Predator models were built with a two-stage SIG SAUER trigger that may have an improperly heat-treated hammer. Over time this could result in a trigger malfunction creating a significant safety hazard. SIG SAUER is issuing a mandatory recall to replace the hammer and trigger assembly in these specific rifles. This recall does not affect any military or law enforcement rifles or any SIG MCX/SIG MPX products.
SIG SAUER will correct any of the affected firearms at no cost to the customer.
To determine if a specific firearm is affected by the recall, go to https://www.sigsauer.com/support/safety-center/rifle-safety-warning/ and utilize the serial number identifier and visual inspection instructions.
If you are a customer who is affected by the recall, stop using the firearm immediately and follow the instructions on the website or call SIG SAUER Customer Service by dialing 603-610-3000, option #1. Have the rifle's serial number available.
DOJ Ends Obama Era Operation Choke Point - August 18, 2017
The Trump Justice Department is ending an Obama-era program that had attempted to cut off credit to shady businesses but came under fire from Republicans for unfairly targeting gun dealers and other legitimate operations.
Just days after top House Republicans had pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shutter Operation Choke Point, the department confirmed in a response letter that the program is dead.
"All of the Department's bank investigations conducted as part of Operation Chokepoint are now over, the initiative is no longer in effect, and it will not be undertaken again," Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in the Aug. 16th dated letter, calling it a 'misguided initiative' from the prior administration.
Dangerous New Threat to Gun Ownership, Gun Violence Taxes - August 16, 2017
Thanks to a tortured ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, the gun prohibition lobby has reloaded to use this tax for an assault on gun ownership.
On August 10 Washington's high court sided with the City of Seattle, which adopted a "gun violence tax" in a strategy to slither around the state preemption law that placed exclusive authority for regulating firearms in the hands of the State Legislature. And this new scheme could be coming to any city that has an anti-gun rights Mayor and City Council.
In Seattle's case, the tax is $25 on the sale of each firearm, plus two to five cents for each round of ammunition sold. This threat takes on even more sinister dimensions when one considers the potential for cities to simply up the fee. Seattle started with $25 per gun, but what if they want to raise that to $100, $500 or even $1,000?
It opens the door wide to making gun ownership prohibitively expensive for average citizens. Essentially, Washington's Supreme Court just handed the gun prohibition lobby and its allies in government a new strategy: If they can't ban or regulate gun ownership out of existence, they will simply tax it into oblivion.
The ruling creates a new battleground for groups like the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
MC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause - August 16, 2017
ABC News in El Paso reported this last weekend that 5 members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were arrested for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon, even though every one could legally possess a weapon, solely because of their membership or association with the motorcycle club. They were initially stopped by the El Paso PD Gang Unit for an alleged failure to properly signal. All 5 men are from New Mexico and were traveling to El Paso to attend a funeral for a deceased member.
This is not a isolated event. In November 2015, the MPP reported that "the trend to confiscate handguns and revoke legally obtained permits from motorcycle club members in America is on the rise.
From Houston to Long Island, and now back to Texas, law enforcement is aggressively targeting the gun rights of those in motorcycle clubs". That trend, particularly in Texas, shows no signs of slowing down.
This assault on fundamental 1st and 2nd Amendment rights is based on a Texas statute that makes it illegal for a gang member to carry a weapon. Many motorcycle clubs are labeled gangs by law enforcement, so the implications are vast and impact thousands of US citizens.
FBI Admits Matching Gun Buyers To Terrorist Watch List In Court - August 12, 2017
Think all these bills trying to get gun owners 'screened' against the terrorist no-fly list are outrageous?
How about if we told you the FBI has been doing it for 10 years without permission from Congress?
Yup, that's right, the FBI has admitted in court that every form 4473 is matched against the terrorist watch list.
Time to call you congress critters and raise holy hell.
A federal lawsuit has finally brought the topic to light, please read the information in the link for more details.
Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Seattle Gun Tax - August 10, 2017
The Washington state Supreme Court upheld Seattle's gun and ammunition tax in an 8-1 ruling Thursday morning.
The city passed legislation in 2015 to charge gun shops $25 for every gun sale and a nickel for every round of ammunition, projecting that it would raise up to $500,000 a year for gun violence prevention programs. But in 2016, it raised less than $200,000, according to The Seattle Times.
The National Rifle Association was among those suing the city, arguing the tax is illegal because Washington state prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized. But the city said the measure is within its taxing authority.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Debra Stephens, determined the ordinance is not unconstitutional, saying it "imposes a tax because its primary purpose is to raise revenue for the public benefit. That tax is specifically authorized under RCW 35.22.280(32), which grants first class cities broad tax powers, including the authority to levy a flat tax on gun sales."
Innocent New York Vet Had Guns Confiscated Under SAFE Act - August 8, 2017
A 70 year old New York veteran spent months fighting to get his guns back after being wrongfully targeted for confiscation after a bureaucratic screw-up labeled him mentally ill.
Don Hall, who served in Vietnam, said police showed up at his house late one night with an order to take his guns. Hall said he was surprised by the order and didn't have any idea why it declared him "mentally defective." When he told police he hadn't ever had any mental issues, they told him he must've done something to trigger the state's restrictive New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.
"They said that they never did this to anybody that they didn't know why they were doing it," Hall told Syracuse.com. "I said well, I don't know why.'"
The police then took six guns from Hall, four long guns and two handguns.
Hall and his lawyer believe the confiscation was the result of a report filed under the SAFE Act, as police told Hall the night of the confiscation. However, the New York Office of Mental Health told Syracuse.com the confiscation was initiated under federal law, which requires hospitals to report when somebody has been involuntarily committed. Either way, Hall said nobody would tell him what he was supposed to have done wrong or listen to his claims of innocence.
"I was guilty until I could prove myself innocent," Hall told the publication. "They don't tell you why or what you supposedly did. It was just a bad screw up."
D.C. Court Of Appeals Strikes Down 'Good Cause' Carry Clause - July 25, 2017
Today, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down Washington, D.C.'s 'good cause' handgun carry rule that plaintiffs in 2 cases argued constituted a ban on the right to keep and bear arms.
In today's Wrenn v. District of Columbia decision (a related case, Grace v. District of Columbia, was consolidated with Wrenn on appeal), a lawsuit helmed by civil rights attorney Alan Gura and backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Court held in relevant part that D.C.'s "good-reason" handgun carry ban laws were unconstitutional:
House Passes Spending Bill That Includes Sale Of Military 1911s - July 17, 2017
The House version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was approved and included a plan to transfer the U.S. Army's remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Added as an amendment by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it would speed up the transfer of potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands to the public. The legislation passed 344-81 and was sent to the Senate for consideration.
"This policy has been included in the NDAA since 2015, but the Obama Administration blocked the Army to transfer the 1911s for political reasons," said Rogers in a statement Friday. "I am hopeful that with the help of the Trump Administration, we can make this provision a reality."
Two years ago, President Obama signed the FY16 spending bill into law, which authorized the Army may transfer no more than 10,000 of their estimated 100,000 surplus 1911s per year to the CMP during a one-year pilot program. However, the transfer was never implemented, leaving the pistols in limbo. Rogers' amendment, added as Section 1064, would strip away the 10,000-gun cap and make it mandatory for the pistols to move, striking "may transfer" and replacing it with "shall transfer" with the schedule in the hands of the secretary of the Army.
Florida Carry Takes Open Carry Case To US Supreme Court - July 10, 2017
A Florida gun group has filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case dealing with how Florida regulates open carry for weapons and firearms.
On Monday, Florida Carry Inc. filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dale Norman vs. Florida case, a case revolving around how Florida regulates concealed weapons permit holders and the accidental brandishing of firearms.
It all started in 2012 when Dale Norman was found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor after his firearm accidentally became exposed outside of his house.
Norman was walking down the street in Fort Pierce carrying his handgun, which was not covered by his clothing. When a passerby saw the gun, the police were called and Norman was arrested.
A lower court found Norman guilty of violating the state's open carry ban, even though Norman had a concealed weapons permit for his handgun.
The court slapped Norman with a $300 fine and court costs, but the legal challenges didn't end there.
Norman alleged state lawmakers were wrong in banning open carry because it requires people looking to defend themselves to first get a concealed weapons permit if they ever want to protect themselves while outside the four walls of their homes.
The state, on the other hand, believes that if open carry were to be legal, legislators would have already passed a bill allowing it.
Judge Rules New Florida Stand Your Ground Law Unconstitutional - July 3, 2017
Florida's updated "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law is unconstitutional, a Miami judge ruled on Monday.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that lawmakers overstepped their authority in creating the law this year that forces prosecutors to disprove a defendant's self-defense claim at a pre-trial hearing.
The judge ruled that under Floridaâ€™s constitution, that change should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court, not the Legislature.
"As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified," Hirsch wrote in a 14 page order.
The ruling is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law they believe makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and other violent crime.
Federal Judge Blocks California Magazine Limit Law - June 30, 2017
A federal judge on Thursday blocked a California law set to take effect July 1 that bans residents under many circumstances from owning a firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, court documents showed.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction halting the law while he takes up the underlying complaint filed last month by five California residents backed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, a lobby group.
"If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one's self of lawfully acquired property," Benitez wrote in his 66-page order.
California has some of the nation's most complex gun laws. Battles over guns in California are part of a fierce debate over gun-control measures in the wake of deadly mass shootings across the United States, including the 2015 rampage at a holiday party in San Bernardino.
Since 2000, California has prohibited buying, selling, or importing "large-capacity" magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, according to the complaint. There are some exceptions, including for active and retired law enforcement officers and for movie actors using a large magazine as a prop.
New York Assembly Passes Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill - June 29, 2017
A measure to establish "extreme risk protection orders" in the Empire State was approved by the lower chamber of the legislature this month.
The Democrat backed proposal, A.6994, would allow a family member, police officer, or district attorney to file a petition with the court for a judge to decide if a subject poses a threat to themselves or others. This could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year, which could be renewed. Proponents feel the move, already law in California and Washington, would save lives.
"Family and household members are often the first to notice when someone is in crisis or exhibiting dangerous behavior," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "Preventing access to guns by individuals in crisis who are found to be a danger to themselves or others could prevent incidents of interpersonal gun violence and suicide involving a gun."
Under the measure's guidelines, if a protection order is granted it would prohibit the subject from purchasing guns while mandating they surrender any they already own to authorities. When the order expires the owner could get their guns back so long as they were not a prohibited possessor and then records of the proceedings would be sealed.
New California Magazine Ban Goes Into Effect July 1st - June 28, 2017
A new state law tightening up on gun control will go into effect Saturday, but not without a fight.
Voters passed the law in November, 2016. It will prevent gun owners from carrying magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Any gun owner who has a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo will have to give it up their magazine by Saturday.
"All of our rights are becoming to be attacked," said John Lewis of Herb Bauer.
Lewis says a state law prevented them from selling high capacity magazines to the public since 2000. But those who already owned them were allowed to keep the magazines until now. Under the new law, those with high capacity magazines must destroy them or turn them into law enforcement with no reimbursement.
Rhode Island House Passes Domestic Abuser Firearm Ban Bill - June 26, 2017
Heading into the home stretch, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted Monday to require convicted domestic-abusers to surrender their guns for up to six years.
The House approved the legislation, after more than an hour of debate, on a 55 to 12 vote.
The opposition was led by the 11 member Republican bloc, with Rep. Sherry Roberts, R- West Greenwich, among those arguing: "We are going to make many of our constituents into criminals needlessly."
"If you get some crazy person who really wants to kill someone and they don't have a gun, guess what?" she said. "They're going to find another means to do that. They'll hit them with a car if they have to and what are we going to do? Are we going to outlaw cars?"
But proponents called the legislation, now headed to an uncertain fate in the Senate, a "reasonable balance" between gun rights and a public health threat, that has left a trail of homicide victims in its wake.
"This isn't a liberal [versus] conservative debate. It's a life saving-debate," said the lead sponsor, Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D-South Kingstown, reading off the names of many of the 27 states that, along with the District of Columbia, have what she described as similar laws.
Supreme Court Declines To Hear California Concealed Carry Case - June 26, 2017
The Supreme Court will not intervene in a lower court's decision that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.
Gun rights advocates had asked the court to review a California law that gives local sheriffs power to require that those seeking concealed-carry permits show a particular need, such as a threat.
"Whether the Second Amendment secures an individual right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home" is the perhaps the "single most important unresolved Second Amendment question," said a brief filed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation.
Because California bans carrying weapons openly in public, the association said the state law can effectively prohibit carrying a gun in any manner outside the home.